America Online and Warner Bros. have launched the In2TV broadband TV network, tapping into the elusive synergy that has long been promised since AOL acquired Time Warner.
In2TV will stream complete episodes of out-of-circulation shows from the '70s, '80s and '90s. When the service launches in January, visitors to AOL.com will be able to view several episodes of 30 series to which Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution holds the rights, including "Welcome Back Kotter", "Sisters", "Wonder Woman", "Kung Fu", and "Growing Pains".
Besides creating more video inventory for AOL advertisers in the form of pre-roll and in-stream :15 and :30 clips, In2TV will create opportunities for show, channel, and promotional sponsorships, as well as banner ads on associated pages on AOL.com. Video ads will be limited to a total of one to two minutes within each 30-minute episode, compared to an average of eight minutes of advertising on broadcast television shows.
In2TV will create new editorial and programming features, highlighting topics like the stars, comedy, theme songs, and fashion of the series on the network. Sponsored contests and games will also be created to support the network.
All shows will be streamed in DVD-quality video in AOL's new format, "AOL Hi-Q." The In2TV site will organize the TV series into six genre-themed channels -- comedy, drama, cartoons, sci-fi, action, and vintage TV. Shows will be searchable by title, cast member's names and other keywords.
In2TV video will be distributed via a secure peer-to-peer network using technology from Kontiki.
So far, the content is all owned by Warner Bros., and does not include any WB Network shows or shows owned by other studios.
Video content has played a large role in the AOL.com portal plans since the beginning. AOL began paving the way for video ads by standardizing the video players on all of its sites and creating new ad units before launching AOL.com in June.
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Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.
Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.
With a combination of real-world marketing experience and years of business journalism, Kevin brings to ClickZ a unique ability to deliver news and training materials that help online marketers do their jobs better.